Primorsky region head makes Nakhodka mayor and Duma speaker resign

Primorsky region head makes Nakhodka mayor and Duma speaker resign
Andrey Tarasenko

Acting Governor Andrey Tarasenko showed he had enough power to go back to the drawing board in terms of the situation in Nakhodka, where a conflict between authorities destabilized the local affairs.

Nakhodka Mayor Andrey Gorelov and local Duma Speaker Evgeny Voronin resigned at the same time. They were forced to do so due to pressure from acting Primorsky Region Governor Andrey Tarasenko, according to Kommersant. It was due to an ongoing conflict between two branches of the municipal authority.

Gorelov and Voronin were offered to resign during a meeting held specifically for this purpose. There, the acting head said such a state of affairs was unacceptable and noted it is time someone made things right in the town.

“People are the first to suffer when the executive and legislative authorities cannot agree,” Tarasenko said.

The speaker and the mayor did not object. Gorelov even said Tarasenko’s decision was the right one. Voronin apologized for the parties not being able to agree in such a long time.

Tarasenko wanted to show he has enough power to go back to the drawing board in terms the situation in Nakhodka, where local elites got into a longstanding conflict, according to political expert Viktor Burlakov. It is obvious Primorsky region authorities will have a say in shaping the new local balance of power, Burlakov also noted.

The Nakhodka City Duma and the Nakhodka head have been in conflict for over a year. Gorelov was elected in February 2016. Nakhodka Duma Speaker at the time Mikhail Pilipenko supported him. The Primorsky Region Administration led by Vladimir Miklushevsky lobbied for former Nakhodka City Manager Oleg Kolyadin. Once Pilipenko became cause for an overreach investigation, he lost his speaker’s status; Gorelov lost the support of deputies since the majority of them opted for his dismissal.

On paper, it was due to him not having a security clearance. The Nakhodka Legislative Assembly amended the Nakhodka law in January 2017. They made it necessary for the head to have a security clearance in order to fulfil their legal obligation.

Gorelov does not have a security clearance, Primemedia noted. The police had warned deputies that Gorelov had violated the law on security clearances when serving as a Nakhodka transport prosecutor. That is why he had lost his security clearance and been dismissed. He head should have Form 2 Security Clearance once in office, according to a letter from the FSB Directorate in the Primorsky Region. In 2016, Gorelov was appointed despite this requirement.

The head vetoed the amendments. The Nakhodka Duma tried to override his decision 2 times. On March 29, Speaker Voronin informed Andrey Gorelov about 23 out of the 30 Nakhodka deputies supporting the latter’s dismissal. It was due to a February 2018 Supreme Court decision that informed deputies that the head should have the security clearance. Local deputies were going to make a decision concerning the Nakhodka head on April 19. Gorelov then said it was possible the local Duma would be disbanded.

The Ministry of Justice registered the amendments in an illegal manner, according to him. The Nakhodka City Court disqualified Gorelov for one year for refusing to publish them. However, the Primorsky Region Court canceled the decision a month later.

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